The Idea of Villa Castagna
A garden is both a real place, and a cloud of possibilities. What you will find here will be both something real, and something that may or may not become real. For this reason you will find no map: Instead you will meet fragments, part real, part possible.
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Category Archives: Art
Jemima Grey’s Chinoiserie Fabrique at Wrest Park. Part 3. Chinese Elements, Function, Typology and Sources
Chinese Elements There is not much Chinese about the fabrique. It has a dragon on the pinnacle, which was easy to miss in 2013 (Fig. 4), but must be much more conspicuous now that it has been gilded (Fig. 13). … Continue reading
Wrest Park has an interesting Chinoiserie fabrique (Fig. 1) which is of interest because it has recently been restored (not for the first time) which allows us to come to grips with the structure. I examined it in June 2013 … Continue reading
Within a month of the destruction by fire of the roof and flèche (crossing spire) of Notre Dame in Paris, proposals by architects for their replacement abound. Why are these designs so awful? The answer is simple: they lack respect. … Continue reading
A Panini with a Haddo provenance that comes up at Christie’s, New York, in May prompts some reflections on the elusive patronage of George Gordon, Lord Haddo, who died in 1791 in a fall from a horse. He is generally agreed to be the subject of a portrait by Pompeo Batoni at Haddo House, and it is assumed that he is the member of his family who acquired two Paninis, the one at Christie’s and another now in the Liechtenstein collection in Vienna. Continue reading
What is the Baroque? Is it a period, a style, a civilisation, or a critical concept? It is all of these. ‘Baroque’ was a term that came into use in the eighteenth century as a negative descriptor of the style … Continue reading
The Favourite is set in about 1705-1711 in London, at presumably, notionally, Kensington Palace, Queen Anne’s principal residence, where, according to Wikipedia, the final falling out between Queen Anne and the Duchess of Marlborough took place. The setting could, however, … Continue reading
In 1761 Giovanni Battista Piranesi produced, as one of his Vedute di Roma, one of the more unusual representations of the Campidoglio, The Campidoglio from the side (Fig. 1). Piranesi normally did his designs from scratch, and in this case … Continue reading
William Kent, Design for Chinoiserie garden temple, showing plan and detailed elevation with bamboo porch, c. 1730–1735. Pen and brown ink and brown wash on paper. London, Victoria and Albert Museum, E.384-1986. (Fig. 1) English Chinoiserie pavilions explored a … Continue reading
Although the gateway arch was initially intended to have been based on Serlio’s Libro Estraordinario, as it has unfolded it has become the Mannerist Gateway. The inside façade is based on Michelangelo’s Porta Pia, the outside one on Giulio Romano’s … Continue reading